Class availability a concern

The recently released results of a survey on university quality by the State University of New York at Stony Brook have important implications for the University. Although the results were mainly positive, the areas where students were dissatisfied should be acknowledged.
The most important concern for University students is the fear of not being able to get into desired classes. Twenty-six percent of University students ranked this as the most pressing academic issue, compared to only 15 percent nationally. With the switch to semesters, the University should consider changes — such as offering more sections — to ensure students can enroll in the classes they want and need.
The second most important concern for University students is class size. Twelve percent of University students listed this as a problem, compared to a nationwide average of 8 percent. Although it may be difficult to reduce class sizes at one of the nation’s largest public universities, certain changes can be made — such as extended office hours — to ensure students are receiving adequate attention.
The overall results of the survey were very encouraging for the University. However, administrators should acknowledge students’ worries. Hiring a few additional professors or teaching assistants to teach some of the most popular classes would be a positive step toward addressing student concerns.